Appeals court revives La Jolla woman’s efforts to overturn murder conviction

By City News Service

A federal appeals court panel on Thursday revived the efforts of a former San Diego County toxicologist to overturn her murder conviction for poisoning her husband nearly 10 years ago.

Kristin Rossum, now 33, was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2002 and sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing her husband, Gregory de Villers. They were La Jolla residents.

Prosecutors said Rossum poisoned the victim when he threatened to report her drug use and her affair with a supervisor.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Rossum’s trial attorneys should have challenged the prosecution’s contention that the 26-year-old de Villers died from an overdose of the powerful painkiller, fentanyl.

The appeals panel said Rossum’s defense team should have tested the victim’s organs for metabolites of fentanyl, which the body produces when the liver processes the drug.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the matter back to U.S. District Court in San Diego for a hearing on whether the defense’s failure to conduct the tests prejudiced the outcome of the trial.

Rossum’s attorneys conceded that fentanyl was the cause of death, but said de Villers killed himself by overdosing on the drug.

Rossum’s attorneys filed an appeal in federal court after her appeal in state court failed.

Related posts:

  1. ‘Postmark La Jolla’ marks 75 years of deliveries
  2. Sea Grants awarded to four local researchers
  3. La Jolla kindergartners, parents getting head start on making friends
  4. Put this adventure on the list of 'Oops' moments
  5. Philanthropist, heart valve inventor dies

Short URL:

Posted by Halie Johnson on Sep 24, 2010. Filed under La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Man robs Wells Fargo Bank on Del Mar Heights Road August 22, 2014
    An unidentified man robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at 3445 Del Mar Heights Road on Thursday, Aug. 21, at about 2:31 p.m. The suspect walked up to three different tellers and demanded money. No weapon was seen. The suspect was given an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect fled the bank westbound towards El Camino Real. The suspect was described as a Hispanic […]
  • Del Mar, Solana Beach cancel elections and appoint council members August 21, 2014
    Del Mar and Solana Beach voters might head to the polls in November, but it won’t be to cast a ballot for their local council members. Rather than hold fall elections, both councils opted to appoint council candidates during two special council meetings on Aug. 20. […]
  • Carmel Valley swimmer wins High Point award at 2014 Long Course Junior Olympics August 21, 2014
    Lukas Marxer of Pacific Athletic Club (Bay Club Carmel Valley), won the High Point award at the 2014 Long Course Junior Olympics at Coronado in July with a perfect score of 140 points! […]